Parmesan spinach fritters in fresh tomato sauce
These rich-but-light patties need only a little olive oil to get that perfect taste.
There’s usually plenty of dairy on my table. To keep things in balance, I plan menus around vegetables and whole grains with cheese or butter as an accent. Spinach is a natural for me because it’s Husband’s favorite vegetable.
This spinach fritter recipe may look familiar. I introduced it earlier, but have adapted it since then, adding walnuts and Parmesan. Each fritter gets topped with a dollop of quickly made fresh tomato sauce. The word “fritter” brings deep frying to mind, but happily, these rich-but-light patties need only a little olive oil in the skillet.
You can pull everything together quickly on the day if you prepare the fritters ahead of time and keep them in the fridge, well covered, for up to 2 days (or freeze them). The sauce can also be prepared ahead. Then just put everything together and heat it up.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large, chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste
- 20 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, chopped, and squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon thyme
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3 additional tablespoons grated Parmesan, for garnishing
- Oil for frying
- Freshly ground black pepper
Use a large frying pan. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until golden. Add the garlic and stir, cooking about 1 more minute.
Scrape the onion and garlic into a food processor. (No need to wash the skillet now.) Add the spinach, bread crumbs, ground walnuts, cheese, salt, pepper and thyme. Add the beaten eggs and process a few seconds to obtain a rough batter.
Cover the bottom of the frying pan with more olive oil and place it over medium heat.
Spoon tablespoons of spinach mixture into the skillet and flatten them into patties. Don’t crowd the patties in the frying pan; cook in batches.
Fry about 5 minutes, turning them over when the bottoms have acquired a brown crust. Fry another 5 minutes to make sure both sides are well crusted. Remove from heat. The patties should not be greasy, but if you like, set them to drain on paper towels.
A recipe for the fresh tomato sauce can be found in our Israeli Kitchen section.
To serve: Spoon dollops of sauce over the spinach fritters and bake the ensemble at 350° F (180° C) until all is heated through. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over each one just before serving, and serve hot.
- If you prefer to blend by hand, simply make sure that the spinach is very finely chopped, and proceed.
- If using fresh spinach, finely chop 2 pounds and cook until wilted. Squeeze it dry.
Adapted from 'Olive Trees and Honey' by Gil Marks.